After a very expensive May, I’m hoping June is a quieter month for spending.
I technically have no confirmed travel plans this month other than a weekend home to take my dad to a baseball game. But because we both have a lot of banked/vacation time to use up this year, we were thinking of taking the last week of June off and tackling a portion of the Sunshine Coast Trail over in Powell River. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do more than go on an epic multi-day hike to celebrate Canada Day! So I definitely hope this happens. :)
Work looks to be busy this month. Actually, it’s been busy for the past few months, but seems to be catching up to us lately. I don’t mind though, because I’m still loving my job and the company. I feel valued as an employee, and that’s not something I’ve felt in a really long time. Along with a small raise in April, my overtime hours have just been bumped up from 1.0x payout to 1.5x (with the option to get paid out or bank the time). I was already collecting banked time off at a pretty rapid rate, but this just means I’ll end up with a lot of carry-over days for 2017 (which isn’t a bad thing – because next year I want to get on a plane and go somewhere amazing!).
RD won’t be home from his big 5-week work trip for another 7 or 8 days, and he’s gone again later this month for another 5 or 6 days of field work (and then again in the beginning of July). So I’m going to try to keep my dining out habit in check (something I failed at last month). I love the summer, but will love having him home even more. :)
Anyway, here is the budget I’m proposing for the month:
June 2016 Goals:
- Continue being active. May was an amazing month for working out. I did something active 5x times per week, and loved it. This month will be a bit different because I’ll be bringing rock climbing back into the mix, but hope to continue mixing climbing up with yoga, spin class, and hiking.
- Go hiking somewhere new. Aside from the SCT, I’d like to try something in the Lower Mainland I’ve never done before. Since there’s still a lot of snow up high, I’ve been looking at some hikes near Chilliwack and might head out there one weekend.
- Examine my retirement plan. For many years I feared I wasn’t saving enough money. Now I think I’m saving too aggressively for the kind of retirement I actually want. I need to actually sit down and take a look at the numbers. Could I be putting my money towards savings outside of retirement? Or can I adjust my retirement goals to stop working even sooner than I thought?
Wow am I glad May is over. Not because it was completely horrible – there were some really great moments – but because May was super expensive, and the end of May means that RD comes home in just over a week. :)
I had planned two trips for may – home for the long weekend, and a camping/hiking trip with Cait. My three nights home were really great. I got to spend time with friends and family (and eat a lot of delicious food!). Plus, I took my sister to the spa (as you can see in the ‘Gifts’ category below). However, my camping/hiking trip with Cait ended up not happening. She got super sick with the flu – and even if she hadn’t gotten sick, the weather last weekend was so horrible I doubt we would have gone anyway.
- Food – I got lazy and stopped cooking meals at home. It was surprisingly hard to keep disciplined, even though we’ve been cooking the majority of our meals at home for the past 6 months.
- Clothing – I got two dresses altered, and bought a new pair of workout pants.
- Car & Transportation – Well, now. My little car got new tires, an oil change, and a couple of other random fixes that I’ve been putting off for a while. I knew I was going to have to get this done before our October road trip, but I didn’t anticipate doing it this month. One of the little fixes got to be too bothersome, so I ended up taking it in and just getting everything done just out of convenience. I’m glad it was all taken care of, but ouch!
Income and Savings:
This month I saved 48.6% of my income, which is just a bit below my target of 50%. I brought in $3,000 through freelancing, and still have $6,250 in outstanding invoices yet to be paid.
May 2016 Goals:
- Be diligent with cooking meals at home. FAIL. Oh, yes, this was a complete and total fail. I had all these grand ideas of cooking my meals at home and not getting lazy just because I was cooking for one this month. :) I actually did fairly well for a while, but a bachelor mentality set in, and I ended up going $60 over budget for the month – mostly in take-out food.
- Workout 5x/week. CHECK! I worked out 19 times this month, and did a mixture of yoga, spin class, climbing, and the gym. I shed a couple pounds (which was not the intention, but I’ll definitely take it!), and feel much stronger.
- No alcohol or coffee. PASS. I did quite well with not drinking alcohol (I had 4 drinks all month), and I was doing well with coffee for the first three weeks … but the last week has been hard. Work got really busy and I ended up coming in early a lot and grabbing coffee on my way in.
- Be creative with freelancing opportunities. PASS. I had some good conversations with potential sponsors. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I’m just glad I was able to flesh out my ideas and pitch them.
- Save $2,500 towards retirement. FAIL. My huge car bill ate up the majority of my freelance income from the month, but I still managed to put over $3,000 away in retirement and savings combined – so even though it was a fail, that’s still a win in my books. :)
The last two weekends have been relatively quiet. After our trip to Squamish, we’ve basically been hermits. I really appreciate that RD has about the same capacity for socializing as me, so we’ve been spending a lot of time relaxing, going for walks, climbing, and we even went out for a 3 hour bike ride over the weekend. It’s been nice, and the gorgeous weather here in Vancouver has gotten me really excited for a fun summer.
Yesterday we took the SkyTrain downtown and watched the finish of the BMO Marathon. It was so inspiring to see so many people achieving their goals – from the elite athletes to the recreational runners. I loved it, and it’s really making me reconsider foot surgery so that I can go back to running again. There’s no good time to have the surgery, so it’s something I’m going to have to seriously.
I was over budget this month, which is pretty good considering we bought a brand new backpacking tent. I had been eyeing it for months, and we definitely paid a premium to get one of the lightest tents possible. Thankfully it was a shared expense, but my half of the purchase still put me over budget by almost $100 in the Travel category. :)
One area that I’m impressed with was the drop in our hydro bill. We’ve only had two bills since moving into our house (BC Hydro bills every 2 months). Our first bill back in February was $197.98. This bill was nearly 50% less, coming in at almost exactly $100. We even had a visit from the contractor who built this little laneway, and when he asked what our hydro bills were, he was impressed. It’s not exactly the $15/month I was paying at my old place, but I can definitely get on board with paying $100 ($25 each per month).
- Entertainment – we went out to eat one too many times this month. :) But since we won’t be going out to any restaurants next month, I’m okay with that.
- Travel – we bought a tent! It was a planned purchase, we just didn’t think we’d be buying it so soon. But RD thought it’d be a good idea for me to test it out on my camping trip next month with Cait, so we bought it earlier than expected. After tax, the tent came to $532.
- Miscellaneous – I started brewing kombucha! I would have been under budget had I not needed to buy a heating belt. But more to come on my kombucha home brewing adventures. :)
Income & Savings:
This month I saved 52% of my income, but didn’t bring in any freelance income this month. I invoiced out for $2,750, have $5,000 pending, and signed contracts for about $3,000 in new work for May. So the money is coming, just not this month. :)
April 2016 Goals:
- Practice yoga – CHECK! I didn’t go to the yoga studio like I had intended, but I consistently stretched and did light yoga throughout the month at home. I still have that gift certificate to YYoga and saw that they have a promotion going on (unlimited yoga for a month for $40) – so I’m going to start going in May.
- Run twice – FAIL. I did not run because my foot started acting up.
- Do my taxes and get organized for next year – PASS. I did my taxes, but did not get myself as organized as I would have liked for next year.
- Read more often – CHECK! I’ve been turning off Netflix and reading every few days.